Another aspect of this process is the incorporation of ecosystem-based management. We have learned through trial and error that every action has a reaction. In other words, if we have local depletion of the forage, then fish that feed on it will move elsewhere, or if we allow destruction of important habitat, then the productivity of that area drops. Incorporation of ecosystem considerations should minimize the collateral impacts of ocean development, again a good thing. Take a look at your region’s planning body’s website (see sidebar) and see its draft-plan schedule. This will allow for comments and concerns.
If this all sounds complicated, it is, but like the eating of the proverbial elephant, it is being tackled one bite at a time. While many will remain skeptical that this is merely a tool to restrict the catching of fish, it is my opinion that, in the long run, this will be a better way to understand our marine ecosystems and ultimately increase resource production in the oceans. With more fish in the oceans, all users win